Small adjustments can lead to large improvements

mai 22, 2020

 More and more plants and processes are being digitized and automated. The opportunities provided are endless and contribute to a safer and more efficient operation. Nevertheless, much of the potential lies untouched.

The fishing and seafood industry has taken several major steps in recent years and is well connected to the digital race. The digital solutions that have come into place have contributed to simplification and improvement of a number of work processes. Technology has been used to automate or robotize all or part of the production - even reporting to the authorities and supervision can now be performed with just a few keystrokes.

Nevertheless, the industry has - as a whole - a potential that has not yet been fully exploited.


Optimize and secure operations

Every day, Service and Aftermarket in Optimar helps customers to digitize, streamline and optimize existing operations, remove bottlenecks, and lay the foundations for phasing in new technology.

With a Digital Readiness Review, our experienced technicians and software experts review and evaluate customers' systems, equipment and digital solutions that are already in place. The goal is to look at the possibilities of a digital upgrade and make customers better equipped for the digital future. It is about looking at solutions that can eliminate unnecessary costs and provide better control and insight into operations, prevent downtime and ensure uptime. Twenty-four hours a day, Optimar is on duty, both to be able to monitor customers' facilities and assist with troubleshooting remotely.

- There are endless possibilities, and for us it is important to find out where the customer is in the digital landscape, what they are ready for and what they want and challenges, explains Elling Andre Aarseth, Technical Account Manager at Optimar.


Step by step

Many view digitalization as a complex and difficult task, and not least expensive. This is not necessarily the case.

- With a good digital foundation, you have the opportunity to build up step by step. It is not necessarily enough to find the right solutions and exploit the potential, or implement new functionality, Elling elaborates.

He refers to the digital platform Optimar Commander, which collects and analyzes data from various processing and fish handling equipment, and provides endless opportunities for control, overview and insight into the operation of both new and existing facilities.

- Commander Gateway is a component that is mounted on the system. This component only needs internet, control networks and power. It is connected to the factory control system (PLS) where it is defined which data is to be transmitted in the cloud and further visualized.

With Commander you get an overview that allows you to make better use of the plant and remove unnecessary manual work.

- Not all data needs to be logged. For most people, this is not a need or a necessity. It's all about logging the right data that adds value to the customer, Elling emphasizes.



Three simple questions

In the pursuit of functionalities and solutions that customers will benefit from, Elling often asks them to answer three simple questions.

First, it is about demands from authorities and supervision.

- Is there data they rely on to document or report in some form? This is something that one should address in a digitization phase by entering it into standardized forms and documenting the data in a database.

Furthermore, the question arises as to what is needed to document internally?

- It can be production figures, maintenance figures, quality parameters, what has been running and how long. The data can further be correlated and one gets other important data. Ultimately, this can be implemented into the customer's financial system (ERP) in order for management to have a better overview of operations, and input into decisions. .

- Ultimately, you want the data you retrieve from your facility to be decision-making support at all levels, including to the management, Elling emphasizes.

Finally comes the question of whether customers are experiencing problems or challenges they have not been able to identify or find a solution to?

- We can go in to monitor the parameters, find out when it happens and where it happens, and use this as decision support for those who will solve the problem. Whether it is us as a supplier or something the customer has to solve internally.

Automatic automatic logging of louse numbers

For Frøy Akvaressurs AS, which invests heavily in larger specialized vessels for the aquaculture industry, Optimar Commander has contributed to the automation of lice counting and reporting.

- There is an end to manual writing of lice numbers. This now goes straight into the cloud and into the system via a touchscreen. We have received systematic storage of debug reports that can easily be sent to customers, and full history of treatment values, explains operations coordinator Karl Erik Saure.

- First and foremost, it is a relief for employees on board, otherwise the reports we send to customers will get better and better every day that goes by.


Simpler processes

On board the top modern fishing boat Granit, from the Norwegian and family owned shipping company Halstensen, up to 40 tonnes of fish fillet is produced per day. The boat is equipped with several digital and automated solutions from Optimar, including freezer hotels and pallet loads.

- Boxes of fish sorted by size are stored in the freezer hotel. Once we have collected enough boxes for one pallet, we can enter a screen and control the robot in the freezer hotel so that it sends out the boxes that are going down into the freezer room. When we unload there is also a truck and a lift that brings the pallets out. The whole process has become much easier - it is faster to empty the boat and fewer people to handle this ashore, as everything is sorted.

- Where we previously had a man who manually moved boxes around in the freezer, and during a guard could lift a total of 10 tons, now the pallet truck does the whole job.


Granit prod


Time is essential

Håkon also emphasizes the importance of having remote access from Optimar twenty-four hours a day. Like when their pallet loader locked completely.

- This is a critical component for us. All frozen fish and shrimp go through the palletizer. We tried what we could with troubleshooting on board, but the elevator did not move up or down.

With a phone call to Optimar, the solution was quickly in place - without the need to send a service person to the facility.

- Now that more and more parts of the factory are computer and program controlled, it is absolutely necessary for us with remote controlled support. Time is essential for us who are engaged in food. It is important to get the fish through our systems quickly. This contributes to good quality. If we get serious errors and stop over a long period of time, it may mean that we have to downgrade our products. We produce around the clock and for every stop we lose production.

- It is good to know that we have Optimar available and ready to help us twenty-four hours a day.